>Lehua Rock & Niihau Hawaii

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In the state of Hawaii, their are a lot of great scuba diving locations. One of my favorites is Lehua Rock. This a huge volcanic tuft cone located a few miles off the forbidden island of Niihau. The entire area is beacon for marine life and one can see schools of small plankton eating fish feeding in the water column, majestic mantas, white tip, grey reef, occasional Galapagos sharks, green sea turtles, and endangered Monk Seals.

The topography is dramatic too with steep drop offs, caves, crevices, walls, and canyons. For those that don’t dive the closest way I can explain how it looks is to look at pictures by Ansel Adams of the rugged mountain ranges and canyons of the American west.

The site is only dive-able during summer months, and then it is at the mercy of weather. I think it is about a 17 mile journey depending upon the harbor, charter company and boat. There are three operators that go to Lehua Rock. They are Bubbles Below, Fathom Five, and Sea Sport Divers.
Over the years I have gone with each company. I usually prefer small dive boats following the thinking that less is more when it comes to underwater photography. However, when it comes to diving Lehua Rock, I prefer a larger boat. For me, its all about being comfortable on a 2.5 hour crossing in open ocean. As the seas can get rough, being able to sit back and relax rather than take a beating is priceless. Thats why I go with Sea Sport Divers. Their dive boat is very spacious, has a toilet, hot water showers, and plenty of space to store cameras dive gear, and dry gear. http://www.seasportdivers.com
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About Doug Hoffman

Portrait and underwater fine art photographer.
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